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Merck says will not seek approval of cholesterol treatment

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc said on Wednesday it will not seek regulatory approval for its experimental cholesterol drug, anacetrapib, as the clinical profile of the treatment does not support regulatory filings.

In August, a large study on anacetrapib found that the treatment cut the risk of heart attack and death by a modest 9 percent, while causing a build up of the drug in fat tissue, leaving its commercial future uncertain.

The treatment is part of a class known as CETP inhibitors designed to raise HDL, the so-called good cholesterol.

On Wednesday, the company said it will not submit an application for marketing approval after reviewing the clinical profile of the drug.

A little over a decade ago, CETP inhibitors were hailed as the next big heart drug but companies including Pfizer Inc , Eli Lilly and Roche eventually scrapped development programs amid lack of efficacy or safety issues. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)